MeitY Asks WhatsApp To Rollback Its New Privacy Policy

The Indian government has given WhatsApp seven days to respond to the notice and failing to do so, the government will take the required steps, according to media reports

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Popular messaging platform WhatsApp seems to have hit another roadblock for its much controversial privacy policy. The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) on May 19 has directed the Mark Zuckerberg-owned messaging platform to roll back its privacy policy, according to media reports.

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The ministry has informed WhatsApp that the changes to the privacy policy and the manner of introducing these changes, including in FAQ, undermines the sacrosanct values of informational privacy, data security and user choice for Indian users and harms the rights and interests of Indian citizens.

According to media reports, the government has given seven days to the company to respond to the notice and failing to do so, the government will take the required steps.

It is to be noted that the hearing on the WhatsApp policy update has been ongoing in the Delhi High court, where the Central government has kept the same stance and mentioned that the policy update violates the Indian Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.

The controversy erupted when WhatsApp notified its users about the mandatory privacy policy update in January, this year. After reading about the update, users feared that WhatsApp will be sharing personal data to Facebook, causing a mass exodus to other messaging platforms.

WhatsApp also had to push its update from February to May 15. However, since then, WhatsApp has clarified that the privacy policy will have no impact on the personal chats or profile data of a user but is related to WhatsApp Business Accounts using the service for customer service purposes.

According to media reports, WhatsApp’s app install number fell by 43 per cent between January and April this year, as people flocked to Signal and Telegram.